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Italian coach De Zerbi leaves Shakhtar Donetsk

Kyiv (Ukraine) (AFP) – Italian coach Roberto De Zerbi has left Shakhtar Donetsk by mutual consent after a season cut short by the war in the country, the Ukrainian club announced on Monday.

“Together with the manager, the Italian coaching staff are leaving the club,” the club said in a statement.

“FC Shakhtar thanks Roberto De Zerbi and his coaching staff for the work done, their professionalism and achievements of the team.

“We wish them every success in their further career, as well as new victories and major achievements.”

De Zerbi, 43, joined Shakhtar in May 2021, winning the Ukrainian Supercup, the only trophy awarded last season. 

The club had also managed to qualify for the group stages of the Champions League and reach first place in the Ukrainian league table when the season was interrupted in April due to the Russian invasion. 

In May, de Zerbi had already mentioned a possible “last day as Shakhtar coach”, the day after a last charity match played in Croatia. 

“If there is a championship (next season), then I would like to stay here, but if the opposite happens and there is no championship, then I would like to resume a life normal and continue to work,” he said. 

“My coaching staff and I are leaving now, but I think we have become better thanks to Ukraine,” said the former manager of Italian clubs Sassuolo and Palermo.

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